Renfrewshire Council

Council Leader Iain Nicolson with Digiteer Maggie McAlistair and Advice Works adviser Kevin Campbell

Leader's blog: get the right support for your Universal Credit claim

It's a major change to how people access benefits but there is help and support out there for residents.

Universal Credit is the biggest change yet to the welfare system. Not only do residents need to make their claim online, they also need to check for tasks set by their work coach and update their journal online.

Before you make a claim for Universal Credit, getting the right support can make a huge difference and I want to make sure everyone knows where they can get it.

Change in circumstances

If you already claim Universal Credit and have a change in circumstances, you should update your journal as soon as you can. You can also speak to you work coach if you need further support.

If you claim one of these six benefits or tax credits - Housing Benefit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits - and you have a change in circumstances, you won't necessarily need to move onto Universal Credit. You should check with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and then make a claim for UC if you need to.

Money and advice

For money and benefit advice, your work coach will refer you to our Claimant Support Officers, but you can also call our advice team, Advice Works, on 0300 300 1238 or Renfrewshire's Citizens Advice Bureau on 0141 889 2121.

Anyone in a financial crisis should immediately contact the Scottish Welfare Fund on 0300 300 0204.

There is also lots of other advice, such as energy and fuel bills support, on Advice Renfrewshire's website or by calling 0808 164 2922.

Digital support

If you know you need to claim Universal Credit and aren't able to make a claim online, you should call the UC helpline on 0800 328 5644. If you need digital support, you can get in touch with the Council's helpline 0300 300 1422.

People who just need a computer, can find them at:

  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Libraries
  • 5 High Street, Paisley
  • Customer Service Centres in Paisley and Johnstone

Wifi is also available at Johnstone and Renfrew town centres, with Paisley town centre wifi coming on line at a later date.

Anyone looking for more information should check out the UK Government's website or visit our handy guide papers - see 'related links' and 'related articles'.

Published: Tuesday 2 October 2018

Pictured: Council Leader Iain Nicolson with Digiteer Maggie McAlistair and Advice Works adviser Kevin Campbell at Johnstone library.